Mandan News

Mandan get BN depot and park, 1989

Diane Boit

25 Years Ago – 1989
Burlington Northern Railroad Co. and the city of Mandan have finalized negotiations for the community to take over responsibility of the BN Depot, Beanery, freight house and adjacent park. Mayor Dykshoorn will present the lease for the city commission approval; the lease is a $500 per five-year agreement. The depot was constructed in 1930, replacing a wooden structure destroyed by fire.

Arvid and Nancy Morken have purchased Hirsch Florist, 204 3rd Ave. N.E., from Steve Hirsch. Morken has worked for flower shops in Minneapolis, Fergus Falls and Moorhead. He was most recently employed as vice president of First Federal Savings and Loan, Bismarck.

Mandan Mayor’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped has named Gerald Weichman, Flasher, as Morton County’s Handicapped Citizen for 1989. Weichman is a systems engineer for Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Co-op in Flasher.

50 Years Ago – 1964
Jenifer Ann Jensen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Jensen, has been named Mandan Senior High School’s “Good Citizen” in the annual contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The contest is open to all girls in the senior class who possess the qualities of Dependability, Service, Leadership and Patriotism in an outstanding degree. Jenifer was chosen from three girls selected by the senior class. The other girls were: Rodine Marshall and Margaret Walter.

Supt. Thomas R. Crouse, head of the State Industrial School, south of Mandan, has resigned under charges of mismanagement after a stormy 6 ½ year’s tenure. Until a replacement is found, the State Board of Administration has appointed Jack Johnson, 41-year old basketball coach and social science teacher as acting superintendent.

Prior to the onset of the Lenten season, the Mandan Revelers Club held their annual Mardi Gras costume party at the Mandan Municipal Country Club. Club members came dressed as Hollywood celebrities of today and yesterday and entered the front porch of the clubhouse which had been transformed into the famous marquee of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater, complete with footprints and autographs in the “cement”, a ticket booth and popcorn stand. Large panels of Chinese artwork, painted by Mrs. August Spiss, covered the windows inside the clubroom, while the east wall was completely covered with a stage curtain and valance carrying out the gold and red Chinese décor.

The room was lighted with Chinese lanterns. Members enjoyed a Chinese dinner served at tables adorned with rice bowls containing floating candles. Before the dancing began, Dr. Harry A. Wheeler showed colored movies of Mardi Gras parties of former years.

Climax of the party was the annual Grand March and crowning of the King and Queen of the Mardi Gras, this year in the plural as the awards for the best costumes went to Mr. and Mrs. Harold Robinson and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Leslie dressed as The Beatles.

Chairmen of the party committee were Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Ellis.

75 Years Ago – 1939
Dr. C. C. Smith, Mandan, has been named chief of staff of the Mandan Deaconess Hospital at a meeting held for reorganizing the hospital staff. Dr. G. H. Spielman was named assistant chief of staff; Dr. H. A Wheeler was named secretary.

More than 500 people visited the Traveling Farm Exhibit featured on three cars attached to the NP train at a stop-over at the Mandan Depot on Saturday, the largest turnout for the exhibit since its tour of the state began. Exhibits in the three cars included photographs and models of proper and improper farm procedures as concerned with grasses, farm pastures, wheat and feed crops, irrigation, crop rotation, water and soil conservation, farm machinery and grasshopper control.

Among the popular radio programs heard on Mandan’s KGCU radio station during March 1939 are: Fibber McGee and Molly; the Bob Hope Show; the Jack Benny program; Battle of the Sexes; Al Jolson Finales; We, the People; the Benny Goodman Orchestra; Information, Please; the Lone Ranger; Ma Perkins; Lights Out; Farm and Home Hour; Grand Ole Opry; and the Sunday afternoon program featuring the Indianapolis Symphony.

100 Years Ago – 1914
“The Farmers & Merchants Bank of Mandan has closed its doors, and Bank Examiner S. G. Severtson has taken charge. The bank owes its depositors and in bills payable the sum of $151,000 against assets of $202,000. Violations of the State Banking Law are alleged; however, according to Severtson, the depositors will not lose. Morton County and the city of Mandan are among the heavy depositors.

“The Missouri River started to break up on Saturday, and Sunday afternoon it had raised about six feet. The Heart River is also up and running over the dam, but so far the ice has not started to come down, and there are no signs that the heavy rush of water has damaged the new dam in any way.

“Spring is here. What? You don’t believe it? Well, you can fool the weatherman, but you can’t fool the school kids. This past week, the confectionary stores of Mandan were mobbed by the school kids, and they stuck around until the proprietors dug down in the storeroom and found the “Migs.” About this time of year that old stocking of marbles just has to make its appearance, and chapped knuckles are once again in style for school boys. Another spring sign is the arrival of Easter hats in Mandan’s millinery stores. There is no use in ignoring this sign… until hubby gets the bill.”

125 Years Ago – 1889
The village of Mandan was organized in the spring of 1881; just eight years later, statehood was the talk of the Dakota Territory.

“On Thursday, March 28, at 3:30 p.m. the thermometer stood at 56 degrees above zero.

“A large group of young men had a lively game of football in the park yesterday afternoon.

“There are over 70 periodicals on file at the new Reading Room at the Depot, including 24 dailies, the principal illustrated weeklies and the standard magazines. An effort will be made to enlarge the number of books. The Reading Room is open every evening from 7 to 9:30.

“The bid from Stephen Mitchell for Superintendent of the Poor House has been accepted by the County Commission. His bid was $30 per month including fuel, plus $3 per week to board paupers, including conveying from Mandan and the burying of paupers. Coffins to be furnished, at $10 each.

“It is time that something was done to the tramp horses and cattle which rove about the streets of Mandan. It is an everyday occurrence to see a lot of these animals feeding out of a farmer’s wagon which is standing in front of some store. Only a day or two ago, a farmer bought two bushels of seed corn and left it in his wagon long enough to get his mail. When he returned, the sack had been torn open, and the corn was scattered in the street. The poundmaster should attend to his duties in a more business-like manner.”

Please email comments to or write to Diane Boit, 402 17th St. NW, Mandan, ND 58554.